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To complement the MASSAGE Magazine article, "A Vegetarian Diet: Good for Your Body, Good for the Planet," by Nancy Berkoff, R.D., C.C.E., A.A.C., in the March 2013 issue. Article summary: Eating fewer animal-based foods has long been associated with helping to prevent many types of disease. Also, raising animals uses land, water and food sources that could go directly to humans instead. And vegetable-based diets can be simply delicious.
by Nancy Berkoff, R.D., C.C.E., A.A.C.
A vegetarian lifestyle is a personal decision and does not need to be a permanent or all-in decision. There are many ways to incorporate vegetarianism into your life. Your health and the planet will say thank you.
If you'd like to make any of your regular recipes vegetarian, simply swap out dairy and meat for vegetarian ingredients.
Veggie Burger Wrap
Makes one serving
Cook up an extra veggie burger or tofu dog (the recipe works just as well with tofu dogs) from dinner. This recipe can also be made the night before or prepared in the morning.
1. In a saucepan, combine veggie burger, tomato, onion, ketchup and mustard. Heat on medium for 12 minutes or until warmed through.
2. Place lettuce and pickles on tortilla or pita. Spread veggie burger mixture on top of lettuce. Roll tightly and eat right away or pack for a portable meal.
Almost Thai Spicy Peanut Pasta
Makes two servings
Make this dish as hot or mild as you like for a change-of-pace pasta.
1. Cook fettuccini according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
2. Steam carrots and peas until tender. Drain and set aside.
3. In a small saucepan, combine vinegar, red pepper flakes, hot sauce, oil, soy sauce, orange juice concentrate and peanut butter and cook on medium, stirring frequently, until smooth.
4. After cooking, whisk for a very smooth sauce.
5. In a medium bowl, combine pasta, carrots and peas and sauce. Toss to coat pasta. Serve hot or cold.
Basic Veggie Burgers
Makes 8-10 burgers
This is a great way to use leftover veggies. If you don't have the tofu used in this recipe, you can substitute prepared and cooled mashed potatoes.
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Place carrots, green beans and pinto beans in a blender or food processor and puree until almost smooth.
3. Place mixture in a large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients until well combined. If mixture is too thick, add some of the reserved carrot liquid; if it is too thin, add additional breadcrumbs.
4. Form mixture into burgers and place on nonstick baking sheet, or spray with vegetable oil spray.
5. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until thoroughly heated and lightly browned.
6. This mixture can instead be pressed into a loaf pan and baked as a loaf.
Nancy Berkoff, R.D., C.C.E., A.A.C., is a food technologist, registered dietitian and certified chef. She divides her time between food writing, consulting to the food industry and consumers, and food, nutrition and culinary instruction. Berkoff has had the opportunity to teach and consult about food in Europe, Asia and Central America, and is a freelance editor for the Vegetarian Resource Council (www.vrg.org).